Read an interesting article by Mona Dohman (Spring Valley Tribune Aug. 7) concerning accidents and deaths on the highways. Yes, it is a shame and I do sympathize with the families and friends of these people.

The drivers of today have so many distractions. There are more untrained and uncaring drivers on the road. A few years ago when a CB radio was in every car, I followed the fad. I joined REACT so I could help those in need. I had an '80 Chevette with four-on-the-floor and a factory installed AM radio. I installed a 40-channel CB radio and a cassette tape player. At that time, I smoked. Now, if you can, imagine me (a Spring Valley, Wykoff and Fillmore boy) driving in a strange city, i.e., Minneapolis, trying to find a good AM radio station, change channels on the CB, shift gears and smoke my cigarette. I had a few exciting moments. I know, I know, my attention should have been on my driving and nothing else (and that is in the driving manual).

I really doubt that anyone has a CB radio or a cassette tape player in their car and very few four-on-the-floor! The CB radio has been replaced with a more dangerous toy, the cell phone and GPS. The manufacturers of cell phones hired a real good bunch of Bravo Sierra artists and they were able to convince you that you had to have the status symbol of the century. If you don't have a cell phone glued to your ear, your peers will think that you are not a very good Dad, Mom, car mechanic, plumber, carpenter, clerk, delivery person, typist, nurse, doctor, brick layer, garbage man, editor, waitress/waiter, short order cook, retired person, baby sitter, grocery store shelf re-stocker, etc., etc., etc. After all, it was the cell phone that kept the US and USSR from going to war back in 1962. Remember The Cuban Missile Crisis. If JFK and Nikita Khrushchev had not had cell phones and could not have sent pictures to FaceBook along with text messages or tweeted each other, the US and Cuba would have blown each other off the face of the earth.

Now we have some person who is not a very good driver, just average, trying to operate a car and a cell phone simultaneously. On the interstate, some pressure is relieved, the bumper-to-bumper traffic. However, you should be using your brain to think about the traffic and road conditions, not using your brain to tell your fingers to hit the correct keys so you can text your friend that you want to go to blahblah restaurant and you want your peas raised to 175.67° and your steak cooked halfway between medium-well and well with no more than 1 ounce of fat and you want 1-1/2 hard boiled eggs cooked for 4.13 minutes. If you can text that message and keep your mind 100 percent on your driving and not have to look at the blackberry with the 5,000 apps that is sometimes green and sometimes blue and sometimes..., you are a very intelligent person and your brain belongs in a jar of alcohol in a museum after you die. That kind of a brain would be a rarity.

A person told me that he had been stopped for speeding. After receiving the ticket, he asked the cop, "Why aren't you out catching the bad guys?" By "the bad guys", I am assuming he meant those who are breaking the law. There are traffic laws and rules and regulations, but they all seem to be laws. What is the difference between breaking the driving law of running a red light vs. embezzlement? In both examples, people could be hurt. Are driving laws something to follow when it is convenient? What we need is more cops and tougher enforcement.



Dale Schunke

Tucson, Ariz.